[Advaita-l] 'I do not know' is bhāvarūpa ajnana

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Jun 12 11:24:40 EDT 2017

On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 5:53 PM, Ravi Kiran via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 3:14 PM, Bhaskar YR <bhaskar.yr at in.abb.com> wrote:
> > *All questions arises only when a distinction is made between jnAna
> > attained in samAdhi vs jnAna generated through maha vAkya and if it is
> told
> > that the latter is not sufficient to remove ajnAna completely, without
> > taking recourse to former.*
> >
> > praNAms
> > Hare Krishna
> >
> > Yes, this is the prevalent advice of the vyAkhyAnakAra-s who interpret
> > nidhidhyAsana as dhyAna and resultant samAdhi.  And based on this samAdhi
> > experience and the method adopted to come back from that state or
> otherwise
> > would determine the 'grades' of brahmajnAni-s (brahmavidvara, vareeya,
> > varishTa etc.) Popular prakaraNa grantha-s like jeevanmukti viveka,
> > panchadashi, vivekachUdAmaNi etc. would insist the importance of
> practical
> > experience of Atmaikatva jnana in a particular state over the shAstra
> vAkya
> > janita jnana through shravaNAdi sAdhana.

The practice of dhyāna that is very much part of Vedanta vākya vichara
(shrotavyo mantavyo nididhyāsitavyaḥ of Br.up.) is taught in several
places.  This Mundakopanishat is one instance:

न चक्षुषा गृह्यते नापि वाचा नान्यैर्देवैस्तपसा कर्मणा वा ।
ज्ञानप्रसादेन विशुद्धसत्त्वस्ततस्तु तं पश्यते निष्कलं ध्यायमानः ॥ ८ ॥

Shankara comments for the word dhyāyamānaḥ (an action in the present
continuous tense):

 तेन ज्ञानप्रसादेन विशुद्धसत्त्वः विशुद्धान्तःकरणः योग्यो ब्रह्म द्रष्टुं
यस्मात् , ततः तस्मात्तु तमात्मानं पश्यते पश्यति उपलभते निष्कलं
सर्वावयवभेदवर्जितं ध्यायमानः सत्यादिसाधनवानुपसंहृतकरण एकाग्रेण मनसा
ध्यायमानः चिन्तयन् ॥

The idea is: *while practicing* one-pointedness, concentration, with
controlled sense organ/mind, he pashyati, gets the direct realization of
Atman.  Such teaching is available in the Kathopanishat too called
'adhyātma yoga.'

Some readers/sAdhaka-s might do well to study a book
`GeetA-shAstrArtha-vivekaH' (Sanskrit) authored by Sri SacchidAnandendra
Saraswati SwaminaH (SSS). The book is published by
AdhyAtma-prakAsha-kAryAlaya, HoLenarasipur (Karnataka). Chapter 22 titled
`yOgadarshanOpasangrahaH' (p.178 onwards) meaning `the
inclusion/accommodating of the Yoga School' presents in somewhat detail the
admissibility, utility, compatibility and the limit of the Patanjali system
in Vedanta sadhana. The author has taken up the 6th Chapter of the Gita for
demonstrating the role of Patanjali's system in meditation. He has cited
over a dozen Yoga Sutras and also the bhAshya on the Yoga Sutras in some
cases to drive home his point.

His aim is to point out those practices of the Patanjali system that can be
admissible to Vedanta and refer to similarities between the two schools:
Yoga and Vedanta. He commences his essay with quoting the Yoga sutra:
Yogaschitta-vRtti-nirodhaH, tadA dRashTuH svarUpe avasthAnam I.2,3. (Yoga
is the restraint of the mental modes. When this is accomplished there
results in the (practitioner's) establishment in his native state.)

SSS proceeds with specifying the other Yoga sutras that teach the method of
restraining the vRtti-s. He lists, on p.183, the eight limbs of Yoga: yama,
niyama, Asana, prANAyAma, pratyAhAra, dhAraNa, dhyAna and samAdhi – and
says these are specified in the Gita chapters V and VI. He makes a very
pertinent remark on p.184:

//However, the last three limbs, dhAraNa, dhyAna and samAdhi, have a
different connotation in the Gita.//

In p.186 SSS says: This indeed is the final purport (of this chapter):
AtmAnAtma-vivekajA-prajnA Eva atra samAdhiprajnA uchyate. …(Here, in the
Gita-context, the knowledge (born of) samAdhi is decidedly the one born of
the discrimination between the Atman and anAtman (of the Vedanta). He goes
on the cite several other passages in the Vedanta literature where the word
`samAdhi' occurs and gives the Vedantic connotation of the term.



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